Many people, most especially in developing countries, believe that starting and running a consulting business is capital intensive. With this conviction, a lot of highly resourceful and intelligent people do shy away from establishing consulting business capable of providing unique solutions to the society’s problems. Despite his lower grade from the university, Victor Ekpo Bassey believes that he has the knowledge and skills for the breeding of thousands of Nigerians who would be highly paid like Tim Cook, David Simon. Eric Schmidt, Larry Ellison, Rondal Johnson, Eduardo Cue, David Zaslar, Mark Hurd and Sarfra Catz, the world’s highly paid workers.
Having failed in the meat business, in 2003, Bassey felt that his knowledge in the business could be useful to a great number of people around him. “I started by offering my advice on tapes for N900. This was at a time when cassettes sold for N50. One thing led to another and today I run the only personal brand consulting firm devoted specifically to helping entrepreneurial experts become high profile, highly paid persons of influence in their field.”
“You’ll earn more money doing something you love, rather than just doing something because it pays you a high salary.” ― Auliq Ice
When asked how he acquired capital for the business, the founder of The Highly Paid Experts Network says he did not source for capital like other entrepreneurs do, but he bootstrapped it all. “I started with N600 and consistently ploughed back my profits at every point in time.” This was done because of his love for the work and continuous effort to excel and be better.
What prompts you to establish the business?
I started the VIP Branding Agency because I felt there was a need for my expertise in thought leadership marketing.
What does it take to be a successful entrepreneur, especially in Nigeria?
A market that is very hungry for the solution you are offering.
What would you say are the top three skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur?
Marketing, financial management, and leadership
What have been some of your failures, and what have you learned from them?
I think my biggest failure was my very first business. The Meat business. It got big really fast and I really couldn’t handle the success. I learned that if you’re not mentally and emotionally ready for success when it comes…the success will do you more harm than good.
If you had the chance to start your career over again, what would you do differently?
I would focus more on building my personal brand than on building a corporate business brand.
Who has been your greatest inspiration?
Janet Switzer. A highly sought after marketing expert in the knowledge products industry. She has created individual promotions, unique profit centres and entire businesses for many of the world’s most respected bestselling authors, motivational speakers and celebrity experts.
What would you say are the five key elements for starting and running a successful coaching and training related business in Nigeria?
- Positioning yourself as an authority and trusted advisor: In today’s rapidly changing world, it’s important to understand the real value that you bring to the table. People must be able to immediately know what problems you solve and who you solve it for. Positioning helps you achieve this. If you don’t have good positioning you will always struggle.
- Launching lucrative products and services: Every entrepreneur needs two kinds of products. Products that get you known…and products that get you paid. Knowing which is which and when to introduce them is key to your success.
- Attracting and Keeping Ideal Clients: Once you have products and services, the next step is to attract the clients who will buy them
- Nurture rapid growth and high performance: Every high profile, highly paid person of influence in the world today has what I call the multiplier mindset. This mindset enables them to achieve extraordinary results in their business in a remarkably short period of time. You will learn how to develop this mindset and cultivate it for personal and marketplace success. You’ll also learn the systems you need to have in play in order to improve your personal and business performance.
What do you feel is the major difference between entrepreneurs and those who work for someone else?
The major difference is their mindset. One is focused on freedom and the other on security.
Where do you see yourself and your business in 10 years? 20 years?
To be quite honest I don’t think that far ahead. I believe that given the kind of world we live in and the rapid changes currently taking place we have to remain flexible in order to avoid being victims of change. That said I only plan in 3-year cycles. I can tell you that in three years I will be one of the most influential voices in the field of personal branding and thought leadership.
What was the major challenge you faced during the early stages of your business and how did you deal with it?
The major challenge was that of having people believe that I could produce the results I was promising them. I solved that by having the people I produced outstanding results for speak for me in the marketplace.
How do you deal with competitions within your sphere of operations/market? Do you have to constantly change your business model to deal with competitions?
To tell the truth I really don’t have a problem with competition. I tend to focus more on playing in uncontested opportunity areas.
Some say entrepreneurs are born, others says they are made what is your opinion?
John Baptiste Say once said that entrepreneurship is the taking of resources from areas of lower productivity to areas of higher productivity. In a sense, we all have an instinct for that. So I would say we are all born with entrepreneurial traits. It’s just that some develop it to a higher degree than others.
Your advice for aspiring entrepreneurs, most importantly in your area?
As early as possible get clear on the problem you want to solve in the marketplace and who you want to solve it for. Develop a step by step process for solving that problem and build everything about your brand based on that system.